08 March 2016

Deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council Heather Smith said: “We were interested to read the statement from the district and borough council outlining what they don’t want to see in order to simplify local government in the county. It is interesting to read so early in these considerations that one option has been completely and unilaterally ruled out by our district and borough partners and we would be interested to see the analysis which has led to this dismissal of this option.

“We would rather focus on what is required rather than simply ruling options out with no discussion. Following the request to do so by our MPs and the recent surprise announcement by South Northamptonshire, we are now working on different models to ensure value for money is secured for taxpayers to avoid costly and unnecessary duplication caused by multiple councils, while ensuring critical services such as child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults are delivered in the most effective way across the county by those professionals most experienced in doing so.

“It is essential that any decision that is made is done so with full consultation with the people of Northamptonshire rather than something that is just done by politicians.

“What is most important at this stage is not to allow our thinking to be restrained by looking simply at council structures. We need to be bolder and looking at integration with health, broader regional transport planning and devolved powers from government. Only by doing this will we create the best public services and get the best deal for the people across the county.”